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What is anaphylaxis?

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Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that needs to be treated right away. If you have an anaphylactic reaction, you need an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot as soon as possible, and someone should call 911 for emergency medical help. Left untreated, it can be deadly.

Epinephrine can reverse the symptoms within minutes. If this doesn't happen, you may need a second shot within half an hour. These shots, which you need a prescription to get, come pre-filled and in ready-to-use pens.

You shouldn’t take an antihistamine for an anaphylactic reaction.

From: Allergies and Anaphylaxis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Anaphylaxis."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Anaphylaxis."

American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology: "Anaphylaxis."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Anaphylaxis: A Severe Allergic Reaction."

Cleveland Clinic: "Anaphylaxis."

Food Allergy Research & Education: "About Anaphylaxis."

World Allergy Organization: "Anaphylaxis: Synopsis."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on June 18, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Anaphylaxis."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Anaphylaxis."

American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology: "Anaphylaxis."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Anaphylaxis: A Severe Allergic Reaction."

Cleveland Clinic: "Anaphylaxis."

Food Allergy Research & Education: "About Anaphylaxis."

World Allergy Organization: "Anaphylaxis: Synopsis."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on June 18, 2018

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How common is anaphylaxis?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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